The automotive scenario around the world is moving towards removing the need for a human driver and turns out this transition is going to be even more revolutionary as companies also try to eliminate the need for a road - and take to the skies. There are several big names in the industry, including Aston Martin, Rolls-Royce and Uber, which are working on an impeccable flying car concept. And now, multinational aerospace giant Boeing in the race.
Boeing recently conducted the very first test flight of its autonomous electric flying taxi prototype which is capable of vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL). The test flight was done this week at an airport with no one aboard the vehicle. The 'flight' lasted for under one minute, in which the flying taxi hovered over the runway.
Boeing plans to use these vehicles for transporting passengers for a maximum of 80 km at a time. The manufacturer has not come up with a name for its new flying and in all possibility, it is a long way out from being commercialised. But the test flight is certainly a step closer to its reality.
“In one year, we have progressed from a conceptual design to a flying prototype,” said Greg Hyslop, Boeing’s chief technology officer, in a statement. “Boeing’s expertise and innovation have been critical in developing aviation as the world’s safest and most efficient form of transportation, and we will continue to lead with a safe, innovative, and responsible approach to new mobility solutions.”
The maximum number of the passengers that Boeing's flying taxi can transport in one flight has not been determined yet. But, it looks like it could one or two. Also, the manufacturer also plans to develop a larger version which can take more passengers.